Now that we have the dead season upon us, I want to celebrate the names, the ridiculous and the sublime, that make baseball what it is. This is largely inspired by a Joe Posnanski post where he said that Wally Moon was the most 1950’s name ever. That sparked me to take on this new project.
Let’s go through each decade of Reds’ history, from 1890s through the 2000’s and select the greatest names. We will have three categories: Best Name, Most Cincinnati Name, and Most 1900’s Name. I will list the names and how they got on the list below, and then choose my winners. Feel free to disagree in the comments.
Topsey Hartsel : I can’t decide if he’s a poor man’s Marx Brother or a rich man’s gigolo.
George Magoon: The badass uncle of Mr. Magoo. Was strangely also given the nickname "Topsy"...guess they must've looked alike.
Chink Heileman: Wow, two ethnic slurs in one name. Not too shabby.
Cy Seymour: Cy Cy was the original Duany Duany.
Rube Vickers: Rube Vickers playing for the Superbas is delightfully 1900s. Also, he told people he was named after the gun, but he was actually named after a ballet dancer.
Rip Ragan: Pitched 18 innings and then went promptly into the pro wrestling circuit.
Buck Hooker: Any name that has verb-object agreement is one I approve of.
Admiral Schlei: St. X grad and, I'm assuming, a bit of a pompous ass.
Gabby Street: Probably made a few films with Buck Hooker, if you knowwhatI'msayin
Claude Elliott (Chaucer or old Pardee): I can't imagine how he got the nickname "Chaucer" if he was from Pardeeville, WI. But I really miss the old convention of nicknaming people based on where they're from. Isn't Drew Stubbs just killing for a nickname like "Texarkana Slim"?
Cliff Blankenship: I wish my name was Cliff, because then I could say, "Yes, my name's Cliff. Cliff Blankenship." Oh, also I wish my last name was Blankenship.
Rip Vowinkel: It's interesting how "Rip Ragan" makes me think awesome-killer-dude, and "Rip Vowinkel" just makes me think of some old sleepy German dude.
Orval Overall: Say what you want about the goofiness of it, his parents just wanted him to have a clean google search.
Snake Deal: Had to be some sort of vicious thug. Or Reds fans back then were just as upset as we would be with a 1b putting up .208/.228/.251
Doc Smoot: Smoot was a funny name before, but then the Vikings sex boat just took things over the top.
Chick Fraser: Really, really, belonged in the 1940's. Anyone know the etymology of the nickname "Chick" for a male?
Dode Paskert: "Hey Jimmy, I dare you to walk past Old Dode Paskert's house at night!" just sounds right.
Cotton Minahan: Went to Georgetown University and Manhattan College, played a year of ball at Cincy, and then went into the vituperative pastor circuit.
Ducky Pearce: Another great old-school nickname that isn't used anymore for being, well, kinda mean.
Bert Sincock: All your LOL Porn name! jokes just became irrelevant. The Sincock has landed.
Rebel Oakes: Of COURSE he was from Louisiana. Of COURSE his real name was Ennis Telfair Oakes. I mean, damn, the dude is right out of a Percy Walker book.
Chappy Charles: Why you would change from Charles Shuh Achenbach to this punchline of a name escapes me.
Si Pauxtis: Great names never go out of style, from the Roman Empire all the way to today..
Ezra Midkiff: Unfortunately, I doubt sportswriters of the day made "Ezra POUNDs the ball up the middle," because Ezra Pound wasn't famous yet. Also, Ezra Midkiff makes a great indie band name.
Your winners of this decade:
Most Cincinnati Name: Admiral Schlei is everyone you hated in high school.
Most 1900’s name: Rube Vickers was discomfitted by the talk of leaving the gold standard.
Best Name: A tough one, there really weren't many standouts this decade. I pick Dode Paskert solely for the imagery it evokes, but I could be won over if someone makes a stand in the comments.
So I hope you enjoyed this one, and stay tuned for the next edition, coming up…eh…eventually.